EU soils are losing carbon and a new briefing note from the European Environmental Agency (EEA) presents soil carbon information extracted from the 2021 national greenhouse gas inventories, as reported by Member States for the year 2019.
EEA analysis in the online briefing gives an overview on the status of soil carbon pools across Europe. It states that during 2019, Member States reported a loss of carbon from 17.8Mha of land with organic soil (4.2% of the total land area), corresponding to emissions of 108Mt CO2, while 387.6Mha of mineral soil secured net removals of 44Mt CO2. EEA also point out that trade-offs can occur in climate mitigation action including an increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, which can have negative consequences for biodiversity and food production. Thus, careful consideration of co-impacts should be considered when planning and implementing different land use practices.